Sydney start-up shoulders the load to transform the logistics industry

Ofload has gained investment from one of the world’s largest container logistics company and a global venture capital firm.

Ofload is a digital platform for road freight that connects quality shippers with reliable carriers. Managing end-to-end fulfilment through technology, in its first 18-months of operations the start-up had amassed an aggregated fleet of more than 1400 carriers and 15,000 trucks nationwide, and is thriving despite having to compete against industry heavyweights – Ofload has won contracts with clients such as Marley Spoon, FedEx and Doehler.

The company has digitalised the end-to-end road freight process for shippers, from getting a price, booking and managing transport, to controlling fulfilment and successful delivery. By automating the manual processes, Ofload ensures that shippers only pay for the actual transport of their goods without extensive overheads. Their aim is to connect shippers to the full market of 50,000 carriers in Australia. Ofload’s drivers have access to the latest technology through a mobile app, providing shippers with real-time tracking and digital document handling.

And for carriers, Ofload offers access to work with shippers across Australia without the carriers needing to needing to add more sales personnel or engaging in long negotiations, as the platform displays personalised loads that match a carrier’s fleet and route coverage.

“We continue to experience rapid growth as shippers and carriers are resonating with our approach that’s rooted in empowering Australia’s road freight industry and reducing wastage,” Geoffroy Henry, Ofload’s Founder and CEO, says. “The industry is fragmented and riddled with inefficiencies—trucks are rarely entirely full and millions of empty kilometres are driven every year, while overheads have increased. This has made it harder for the long tail of owner/operators and small to medium businesses to compete against the industry powerhouses.” By tackling wastage, reducing empty miles and idle time, Geoffroy is on a mission to make road freight more sustainable and, ultimately, level the playing field.

In August Ofload were able to announce it had raised an additional $3.8 million following increased backing from seed investors Maersk Growth and Global Founders Capital and pre-seed investor Flash Ventures, alongside new investor Foundamental. The funding announcement came on the back of a strong start to 2021 during which time the start-up consistently indexed double figure growth, and the money will support the expansion of its operations that are focused on tackling waste and empowering the long tail of small to medium-sized industry players.

Maersk Growth’s investment has also led to its parent company A.P. Moller – Maersk, one of the world’s largest container companies that operates in 130 countries, to engage with Ofload’s services. And the investment of Foundamental is noteworthy, given that it is their first investment in an Australian start-up. The global venture capital firm invest in construction, mining and renovation technology, and believe in making those industries autonomous and clean through technology and science. Foundamental General Partner Shubhankar Bhattacharya describes Ofload as the first credible mover in an ecosystem that often has a winner take all dynamic. “It’s the team to back with demonstrated evidence of fast growth and great execution, and we are excited for what’s to come,” Bhattacharya enthuses.

Since launching Ofload has grown its team by 200 per cent to 32 employees, and is set to double its headcount within the next six months. To accommodate this expansion and future growth, the start-up recently signed a new, long-term commercial lease in Darlinghurst in Sydney’s inner east.

This article first appeared in issue 34 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine